I have an old Sonos speaker in my bedroom/office. I’m listening to an episode of the StarTalk Radio podcast through it as I type this. It’s too old to support Apple’s AirPlay so I have to use the Sonos App. It’s fine for the most part. I can run AppleMusic through it, but not Apple Podcasts. I had to setup Stitcher in order to play podcasts through the speaker.
The lack of AirPlay has meant that I have always wanted to upgrade to something newer so that I could just play my iPhone or my iPad directly through the speaker.
Along with the old Sonos speaker in the bedroom, we have additional Sonos speakers in the living room, and in the office proper. Our home theater system is all Sonos. Those are all newer models that support AirPlay.
We also have an Apple HomePod in the living room. It’s a great speaker, but more often than not the Sonos is the go-to when we want to play music through a speaker.
Yesterday Apple had their media event for the new iPhones. The iPhone 12 Pro Max looks awesome. That’s not what really caught my attention though. The standout to me was the new HomePod Mini. Not because of anything it does, but because of the price.
Given my interest in upgrading the speaker in the bedroom/office.. the original HomePod sells for about $300. The Sonos One runs for about $180, and the Move costs about $400.
The new HomePod Mini costs $99. That’s interesting. It does exactly what I want it to do, and it ties into my existing system, and it’s a lot cheaper than the alternatives.
Band practice was a bust last night. Mike’s bass was slightly damaged during his cellar flood a couple of weeks ago. It’s in the shop. We are hopeful it will survive, but maybe a little part of us is also hopeful that it won’t survive and he’ll be forced to buy that Rickenbacker 4001 he’s been dreaming of since high school. I brought my cheapo-ebay special Squire P-Bass so he could use it if needed, but my bass is actually in worse shape than his. Playing in tune was out of the question, so we sat around for two hours throwing out ideas for new songs to cover.
I was listening to a podcast on the drive home tonight. It’s put out by the fine folks at CD Baby and it’s called DIY Musician Podcast. The topic this week is, Is your age an obstacle to music success. I guess, and the podcast agreed, that the answer to that question depends on how you define success. Is success being able to make music full time? Is success being able to tour the world? Is success being able to bang groupies while doing blow off a passed out hooker’s behind like an 80’s hair metal band? Not for me.
If I get to define what success is for me, then I am an unbelievably successful musician. I’m a couple of weeks shy of my 46th birthday and I played four gigs in the last year. That’s more than most of my bands played during their entire lifetime back during my 20’s. If I remember correctly, the next gig will tie Lizardfish for the most gigs ever played by any band I’ve been in. Break Even played five. I’m really stretching my memory here, but I think the band I played in in High School might have done eight or nine. However, four were with the one main line up. The four or five others were with variations on that lineup. The band Mike and I had with Maria the drummer as well as a number of different singers was by far the best band for my taste as it was the only one that was all original, but it only played two gigs. El Pez Lagarto has played four gigs since I joined, and has three more booked. That’s amazing to me. In my eyes that makes us supremely successful! Now if we could just start doing the occasional original song. That would be icing on the cake.
I am going to start mic’ing up the room during band practices again and trying to make decent sounding rehearsal tapes. I haven’t mentioned it to the band yet, but I think I might want to try recording a show as well. All the more reason to start slipping in original songs. How about an EP of original music titled, Live at Racks: Bootleg. I see a hit in our future. Now I just need to get those songs written and rehearsed and my little idea for recording a show needs to be practical and the band has to go along with it. No problem. (yes, problems. everywhere problems.)
Steve Hackett has a new album. It’s on Spotify. After me posting all of my crappy songs back in February, here is an example of what a real guitar player sounds like.